Our daily routines and normal life have been so disrupted with the coronavirus that it is the complete opposite of what our lives looked like a month ago. Many of us can’t go into the office or our place of business, and we might consider getting take-out, but not sitting down to enjoy the company of friends at a restaurant. We are practicing social distancing by working at home, only making trips for essentials, and conducting virtual gatherings. The social isolation that is stemming from our limited contact with one another can take a toll on our mental health.

April Ella, MS, LPC-MHSP-t, NCC, is a counselor at Ebenezer Counseling Service. April was recently interviewed on Jim’s radio show More Living with Jim Brogan. She recommends these helpful tips for coping during this time.

  1. Try to focus on what we have control of versus what we don’t have control of.
  2. Get outside. Most federal and state guidelines say you can go outside for exercise. Being outside and being as active as possible will help in the reduction of anxious energy and feelings of low mood.
  3. Get connected to a person(s) you trust, such as a friend, neighbor, family member, or counselor for continued or renewed support and interaction. You can have conversations with people maintaining the 6ft social distancing guideline. Or, try a virtual conversation.
  4. Be compassionate to others, most importantly yourself, about how you are feeling and managing during this time. Be aware and accepting of your level of coping without judgment. It is normal to feel how you are feeling, but also be open to asking for help if needed. There are people and professionals ready to help you. Just reach out!
  5. Create a new routine or structure to help in day-to-day living. Some days you may stray from the routine but keeping one will help you find a sense of balance.
  6. Put limits on how much media consumption you are taking in. Too much information, especially sensationalized media, can really alter our perception of our life and increase anxiety.
  7. Give to others through thoughtful deeds, checking on them, creating something, reaching out, etc. Giving your time, energy, or support increases our own sense of hope in the world and will help renew our focus.